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More funding for fighting wildfires in Washington

Posted by Dylan Kruse on November 2, 2015

Washington’s Commissioner of Public Lands, Peter Goldmark, asks the state for increased funding to fight wildfires.

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Commissioner of Public Lands, Peter Goldmark, requesting funds to fight wildfire. Sustainable Northwest also spoke in support.

More than 1,500 wildfires burned 1,005,423 acres in Washington this summer. Battling those blazes cost Washington $164 million. After consecutive years of record wildfire damage, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is asking legislators for help controlling future wildfires. The agency is asking the Legislature for an additional $24,279,000 to equip and train more in-state wildland firefighters and make forests and communities more resistant to the fires that have swept through Washington.

The funding package would provide aid to local fire districts, modernize communication equipment, add aviation experts to dispatch helicopters and airplanes and train local, tribal, state and contracted firefighters to work together. Funding also would be aimed at improving the health of Washington’s forests and strengthening fire prevention programs.

After two devastating fire seasons, it is clear that Washington needs additional resources to ensure the protection of life, property, and the state's natural resources. This package is a comprehensive and thoughtful approach that will meet the need for future wildfire prevention and effective response. 

Sustainable Northwest looks forward to working with the Commissioner of Public Lands, Washington State Legislature, and Washingtonians to develop collaborative solutions that will improve forest health, ensure clean water and air, and sustain jobs and vibrant rural communities.  

Learn more about the agency’s funding request and see the list of supporters on their blog.